A Cup of Chai with The Cosmopolitan Hippy, Dr Leandra Brady-Walker
1) I love the philosophy of The Cosmopolitan Hippy. Can you share it with the Prana Chai devotees?
Well it's quiet simple really. I help women find their own perfect balance between raging party girl and blissed out hippy.
I am a chiropractor, an author, a speaker, a mum and an around domestic goddess, (well at least I try)! I am constantly striving for balance in my life, but mostly falling short of perfect. However, I am a passionate feminist and believe that women can have it all. High heels and yoga mats, cocktails and green smoothies, the key to balance is not giving anything up, but about making better choices for the things you love. Indulging in great wine, not cheap plonk. Choosing ethical, sustainable and healthy companies over mass marketing big corporates. And above all, loving yourself enough to give yourself the best.
2) You are a busy mum of two small children, how do you manage the juggle it all? Any secrets you want to share?
Ha! Well, yes, I guess from the outside, what with social media and everyone's life on show, it can look easy. But the truth is, I'm so totally normal. Some days we stay in our PJ's and nothing gets done, but other days are more productive.
I find routine helps. We have a print out of our time table for the day, with blocks set out for work and play and meals. It helps focus me because when I am working, I only have a finite time so I must be productive in it. When I am with my girls, that's play time and no work can be done, allowing me to be present with them (and if it's a tough day, a finite time till the next activity so I don't lose my mind in frustration). I also have a diary where I schedule in everything including an hour of exercise by myself a week, a half hour phone call with my best friend every week, drinks out with my girlfriends once a month, afternoon tea with my 4 year old once a week, coffee with my husband once a week and a one hour bath with a book and a cup of tea all by myself once a week.
But the most important thing is that I have learned having it all does not mean doing it all. I have a cleaner, my 4 year old has chores she does, my husband and I have equal house duties and I am slowly learning how to ask for help when I feel overwhelmed.
3) What is the favourite part of your day and why?
Dinner time. No matter what the day was like, we always sit down together and eat at the end of the day. My 4 year old often helps with dinner prep, which is our special time together. I find that I express my love for my family through food, so I love to see them enjoying healthy meals I have created. We have 3 questions we all ask each other at dinner time. What was your favourite part of the day? What was your tricky part of the day? What did you do to overcome/deal with your tricky part? I find I have gained such insight into my 4 year old hearing about how she saw the same day that i did and how she interpreted it. It also give her a chance to see that mummy and daddy are people too.
4) I understand you discovered you where wheat, gluten, sugar and dairy intolerant when you were twenty-one. How do you survive?! What do you eat?
I know it sounds like I live on love and fresh air! But in truth, we eat lots of vegetables. We are lucky to live in the country and visit either the farm gate or farmers markets every week. So we eat very seasonably, picking whatever looks good at the markets along with eggs and fruit and meat. I was a vegetarian for years and I am really concerned with where our meat comes from as a result, we don't eat lots of meat, mainly because high welfare meat is expensive. I love to bake, so we always have either cake or cookies or pie. It has taken me years, but finally I can work with flours like coconut, almond meal, teff, quinoa and buckwheat and sweeteners like maple and honey to make things that don't resemble a brick. We actually have dogs, because I experimented so much with food and expensive ingredients that I couldn't bear to throw out.
Typically in a day I have:
A cup of chai and eggs and veggies (often left over from last night’s dinner)
Cup cake and herbal tea
Vegetable soup made with bone broth
Herbal tea and fruit
Roast veggies and meat - my go to dinner, I just chop up whatever I have in the fridge - carrot, potatoes, broccoli, whatever add some Cleavers sausages or mincemeat rolled into balls, toss the whole thing in coconut oil and salt and chuck it in the oven on high. Serve it with sauerkraut and it is a complete meal.
5) Given your intolerances, what do you like to brew your Prana Chai using?
My husband is the chai expert in my house! Usually he makes me a small pot with either coconut or almond milk, or a blend of coconut and almond. I used to make my own milk (but who has the time?!) but now I buy the Nutty Bruce brand.
6) I know you enjoying cooking with Prana Chai. Can you tell us a bit about some of your favourite Prana Chai creations?
I've made marshmallows, and puddings and jellies with the chai, but my favourite is a Fig and Chai Self Saucing Pudding I made. It's sort of like a sticky date. When figs are out of season you could use dates for a delicious pudding.
7) How can we find out more about you?